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scripture

 

CHAPTER 7

Judging Others. 1* a “Stop judging,* that you may not be judged.b 2For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.c 3Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? 5You hypocrite,* remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Pearls before Swine. 6“Do not give what is holy to dogs,* or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.d

The Answer to Prayers. 7e “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.f 8For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.g 9Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,* 10or a snake when he asks for a fish? 11If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.h

The Golden Rule. 12* “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.i This is the law and the prophets.

The Narrow Gate. 13* “Enter through the narrow gate;* for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.j 14How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

False Prophets.* 15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.k 16l By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So by their fruits you will know them.m

The True Disciple. 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.n 22Many will say to me on that day,o ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’p 23Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.* Depart from me, you evildoers.’q

The Two Foundations. 24* “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.r 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.s But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. 26And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

28* When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29* t for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

* [7:112] In Mt 7:1 Matthew returns to the basic traditional material of the sermon (Lk 6:3738, 4142). The governing thought is the correspondence between conduct toward one’s fellows and God’s conduct toward the one so acting.

* [7:1] This is not a prohibition against recognizing the faults of others, which would be hardly compatible with Mt 7:5, 6 but against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one’s own faults.

* [7:5] Hypocrite: the designation previously given to the scribes and Pharisees is here given to the Christian disciple who is concerned with the faults of another and ignores his own more serious offenses.

* [7:6] Dogs and swine were Jewish terms of contempt for Gentiles. This saying may originally have derived from a Jewish Christian community opposed to preaching the gospel (what is holy, pearls) to Gentiles. In the light of Mt 28:19 that can hardly be Matthew’s meaning. He may have taken the saying as applying to a Christian dealing with an obstinately impenitent fellow Christian (Mt 18:17).

* [7:910] There is a resemblance between a stone and a round loaf of bread and between a serpent and the scaleless fish called barbut.

* [7:12] See Lk 6:31. This saying, known since the eighteenth century as the “Golden Rule,” is found in both positive and negative form in pagan and Jewish sources, both earlier and later than the gospel. This is the law and the prophets is an addition probably due to the evangelist.

* [7:1328] The final section of the discourse is composed of a series of antitheses, contrasting two kinds of life within the Christian community, that of those who obey the words of Jesus and that of those who do not. Most of the sayings are from Q and are found also in Luke.

* [7:1314] The metaphor of the “two ways” was common in pagan philosophy and in the Old Testament. In Christian literature it is found also in the Didache (1–6) and the Epistle of Barnabas (18–20).

* [7:1520] Christian disciples who claimed to speak in the name of God are called prophets (Mt 7:15) in Mt 10:41; Mt 23:34. They were presumably an important group within the church of Matthew. As in the case of the Old Testament prophets, there were both true and false ones, and for Matthew the difference could be recognized by the quality of their deeds, the fruits (Mt 7:16). The mention of fruits leads to the comparison with trees, some producing good fruit, others bad.

* [7:2123] The attack on the false prophets is continued, but is broadened to include those disciples who perform works of healing and exorcism in the name of Jesus (Lord) but live evil lives. Entrance into the kingdom is only for those who do the will of the Father. On the day of judgment (on that day) the morally corrupt prophets and miracle workers will be rejected by Jesus.

* [7:23] I never knew you: cf. Mt 10:33. Depart from me, you evildoers: cf. Ps 6:8.

* [7:2427] The conclusion of the discourse (cf. Lk 6:4749). Here the relation is not between saying and doing as in Mt 7:1523 but between hearing and doing, and the words of Jesus are applied to every Christian (everyone who listens).

* [7:2829] When Jesus finished these words: this or a similar formula is used by Matthew to conclude each of the five great discourses of Jesus (cf. Mt 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).

* [7:29] Not as their scribes: scribal instruction was a faithful handing down of the traditions of earlier teachers; Jesus’ teaching is based on his own authority. Their scribes: for the implications of their, see note on Mt 4:23.

a. [7:15] Lk 6:3738, 4142.

b. [7:1] Rom 2:12; 1 Cor 4:5.

c. [7:2] Wis 12:22; Mk 4:24.

d. [7:6] Prv 23:9.

e. [7:711] Mk 11:24; Lk 11:913.

f. [7:7] 18:19.

g. [7:8] Lk 18:18; Jn 14:13.

h. [7:11] 1 Jn 5:1415.

i. [7:12] Lk 6:31.

j. [7:13] Lk 13:24.

k. [7:15] 2 Pt 2:1.

l. [7:1617] 12:33; Lk 6:4344.

m. [7:20] 3:10.

n. [7:21] Is 29:13; Lk 6:46.

o. [7:2223] Lk 13:2627.

p. [7:22] 25:1112.

q. [7:23] Ps 5:5; 6:9.

r. [7:2427] Lk 6:4749.

s. [7:2526] Prv 10:25.

t. [7:29] Mk 1:22; Lk 4:32.

III. Ministry and Mission in Galilee*




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